After several events, parties, deadlines, meetings, homework, chores, and appointments, I found myself in a major state of burnout a couple of weeks ago. It was the type of burnout where I seriously shied away from the outside world (more so than usual) and wanted to live like a hermit for a couple of days.
So, like a responsible adult, I fixed my schedule to avoid any and all human contact, and searched for entertainment the best way I knew how: iFlix and Netflix.
After looking around for what seemed like an eternity, I decided to forego the usual western TV series and documentaries and try out a Korean drama.
Yes, my name is Gail, and I watched a Korean drama (with English subtitles, of course).
Backtrack: I never had any interest in Korean culture and entertainment. I think it was because the first Koreans I’ve met in Manila weren’t the nicest people… Those encounters left a bad taste in my mouth.
I only began to give it a chance when my husband started working for a Korean company. I started meeting really nice Koreans who taught me their brand of indulgence: cheap and effective beauty products (I have yet to meet a Korean with bad skin), amazing Korean food (although I have yet to figure out where they put them, they’re so skinny!), and Korean drama.
Korean drama is how Latin Americans treat their telenovelas: Everyone has a favorite, and watching them is almost a religion. In fact, given Korean technology (and their breakneck bandwidth speeds), a lot of these dramas are made available online and accessible to anyone with a smartphone.
Which brings me back to my original story: To chill out, I decided to indulge myself in a nice Kdrama, put on a much-needed facial mask, and, because I’m a beverage geek, drink something totally Korean.
Aloe Vera Juice
I heard of Aloe Vera for hair, but never as a beverage. The drink tasted like really sweet candy and promised to decrease bloating. Online research produced conflicting studies (some studies say too much of the stuff can pose health risks, others say it’s great for detox), but the cute bottle and refreshing characteristics were enough to make me want more.
Honestly, I got this because of the bottle and the wordplay on acapella. It was a choice between this flavor and a dark coffee, but I was craving for something sweet at the time. This did the trick… The caramel flavors were the roasted, creamy kind (my favorite).
I heard about Soju when Chad was hunting down a store to buy some for his Korean officemates. I heard of it again while I was watching a Kdrama, where I discovered… Man, Koreans love (and get drunk on) Soju. It’s as readily available in South Korea as San Miguel is to us. Essentially, it’s a distilled beverage containing ethanol and water, made from rice, wheat, barley, potatoes, sweet potatoes, or tapioca, and is consumed neat. The alcohol percentage varies from 16.5-45% ABV… Which makes it quite potent.
If this isn’t enough, some people turn them into Soju Bombs: Similar to boilermakers, a shot glass of Soju is dropped into a pint of beer and is consumed fast.
While shopping around for Soju, I discovered this bottle of plum wine. It’s made out of maesil plums (which are bottled along with the alcohol). It’s popular, cute, and is about 14% ABV. It’s sweet, fragrant, fruity, and packs quite a punch. There’s a premium gold edition, which has a smoother, more elegant texture to it. Personally, I couldn’t drink this on its own, it needs food (preferably Korean, of course!).
That being said, excuse me while I return to my
self-exile vacation, while I enjoy what’s left of my Soju, Japchae, facial mask, and Kdrama. 😉 Let me know your favorites. Geonbae!